My second favourite profession I would have gone for if I had the choice when I was young? Marine archaeologist.
I just mention this because in the past half-year I was haunting the now closing Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds exhibition of the British Museum which told the story of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, two cities that sank into the Mediterranean Sea (in Aboukir Bay, previously only known to me as the place where Nelson defeated the French). The site is being excavated by the team of Franck Goddio – the marine archaeologist who seems to get to excavate all the best sunken things in the world. (This is envy speaking.)
I saw this pectoral, an ornamental breastplate, of Amun-Ra (the King of Gods & Sun King), made of lapis lazuli and gold, in the exhibition:
Mr Anglo-Saxonist – who had actually been to Egypt – says that he saw just such starry skies painted on the ceiling of a temple in Dendera; I now put the Temple of Hathor on my list of places to see before I die! Is it possible that the Egyptians used a paint made out of lapis lazuli in the painting of that temple? Considering the amount of paint needed, surely it would have been prohibitively expensive?!
I was going to tell you loads about Sunken Cities but I found this blog when I was googling for the link to the exhibition page of the museum: written by a curator of the British Museum, with all the great images I have no access to and a wealth of information – I can’t compete! (I particularly recommend the underwater picture of the Dark Queen.) Enjoy.
You might also like: ⇒ Images of the Temple of Hathor, Dendera ⇒ Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds by the British Museum ⇒ The Harper's Song: Enjoying Life after Death in Ancient Egypt ⇒ The Secret of the Greek Galley (the Antikythera shipwreck)